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ISIS (EYE-siss)

Goddess of magic, motherhood and fertility in ancient Egypt

Common clues: Egyptian goddess; Wife of Osiris; Mother of Horus; Horned goddess; Cow-headed goddess; Goddess of fertility; Nile deity

Crossword puzzle frequency: 5 times a year

Frequency in English language: 26861 / 86800

Video: Bob Dylan - Isis

Isis (Greek version; Egyptian is Aset) is the goddess of magic, motherhood and fertility in ancient Egypt. She is a life-death-rebirth deity, as well as one of the Ennead. Later, she acquired the goddess Sopdet. She was a close companion of Arensnuphis.

To the ancient Egyptians, the constellation corresponding roughly to modern Virgo represented Isis. Her star Spica was sometimes called "Lute Bearer" and associated with wheat or grain.

Originally, she was a goddess of royalty (her hieroglyph includes the word for "throne"). Later, during the period of Greek dominance, she was the patron goddess of sailors.

Isis was the daughter of Nuit, goddess of the sky, and Seb, god of earth. She married Ausare (Osiris), her brother and the father of her son Hor (Horus). Osiris was murdered by Seth but she reassembled his body (leading to her association with the underworld and the funerary cult), impregnated herself with his body and gave birth to Horus in Khemnis, a swamp. In addition to Horus, Isis was the mother of Min (alternatively, they were lovers).

Isis, along with her sister Nephthys, can be seen on the sides of coffins in human form, their wings outstreched protecting the dead. The sisters also had magical powers; Isis in particular tricked Amun into telling her his secret name, so her magic powers were supreme. Isis helped her husband, killed by Seth, to come back to life and rule in the land of the dead.

Isis is often symbolised by a cow, or a cow's head or horns (illustrating a connection with Hathor). In art, she was depicted with her son, Horus, with a crown and a vulture, and sometimes as a kite flying above Osiris's body. Alternatively, Isis was identified as the scorpion goddess Serq or Selk.

The cult of Isis rose to prominence in the Hellenistic world beginning in the last centuries BC, until it was eventually banned by the Christians in the 6th century. Despite the Isis mystery cult's growing popularity, there is evidence to suggest that the Isis mysteries were not altogether welcomed by the ruling classes in Rome. Her rites were considered by the princeps Augustus to be "pornographic" and capable of destroying the Roman moral fibre.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Isis".

ISIS (262) 34 Tu- >1 01 Egyptian goddess

23 We- >1 03 Wife of Osiris

21 Mo+ >1 04 Egyptian fertility goddess

19 Tu- >1 09 Egyptian goddess of fertility

18 We- >1 00 Mother of Horus

15 >1 05 Sister of Osiris

13 Th >1 08 Horned goddess

10 Tu+ >1 02 Cow-horned goddess

7 >1 03 Fertility goddess

6 Mo+ >1 07 Egyptian deity AMON PTAH

6 Th- >1 03 Goddess with cow's horns

4 We+ >1 98 Cow-headed goddess

4 We- LAT 05 Osiris' beloved

3 We- >1 99 Goddess of fertility

3 We- >1 08 Osiris' wife

3 Th- LAT 01 Osiris's beloved

3 Th- >1 03 Sister of Nephthys

2 Th Rea 08 "It depends on what the definition of ___"

2 We CSy 05 Cow-headed Egyptian goddess

2 Th- >1 07 Daughter of Nut

2 >1 95 Egyptian mother goddess

2 Th Rea 97 Goddess in Tut's time

2 Th >1 03 Her symbol was a cow

2 We CSy 07 Horned Egyptian goddess

2 Th Rea 04 Nile goddess